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Lyrarakis, wine and Crete

«The sun drinks grapes, and we drink wine from grapes: we drink the sun!» I don’t remember who said this, but it was absolutely right… It penetrated all capillaries, warming and delighting: «Vidiano», «Muscat of Spina», «ZaZaZu». The main thing on all bottles were listed «Lyrarakis». This is the name of the winery, where they offered us a variety of wines from their wine production.

First we sat down with Georgios Lyrarakis at the edge of his vineyard, where the ancient vine clung to the ground, barely breathing. «Wine is like a person who gets tired and falls asleep during winter,» said Georgios, carefully touching powerful stems. «But, look, it is about to wake up…»

Then it will be poured with juice and sunshine; the grapes will be collected and sent to the press; then they will take their time in barrels and maturing. Georgios told us about all these intricacies, and Anna filled our glasses again. The Lyrarakis family started to engage in winery in 1966 and since then has earned a reputation in 26 countries, where they export their products. Three revived original Cretan grape varieties, dozens of wine names, international recognition at world competitions. We do not know what the European sommeliers think, but we would give all imaginable awards to the Lyrarakis’.

«Vidiano» is a grape variety, «Muscat of Spina» is another one, says Anna. The combination of these two varieties gives the most fragrant white dry wine. As it is established, there is the highest concentration of natural aromatic substances in these two varieties.

Yes, Anna, we believe you! We drank, breathing in the smells of Cretan herbs, air and the sun! White dry, red, pink, tart-sweet, like the last love.

– «What do you like best?»Georgios slightly smiled.

– «I prefer this one, the white dry!»

«Oh, so you are like an ancient Greek!-laughs winemaker.This wine is from ancient varieties. It’s your choice, but the quality of wine depends not only on climate, grapes and weather».

If Georgios, the heir of Dionysus, and beaming Anna were not at the table, it seemed to me that the taste of the drink would not be so bright; and then the owner took us to a reserved place, so that we could understand from what else the taste of the wine is made of… It was the top of the hill where only the wind was walking. Below-vineyards, above is the sky and in the middle-the ancient stone press. Why did they bring ancestors here to press their grapes? Why did they press them right here-at the windy height? God knows, but judging by how important this ritual place is for Georgios Lyrarakis, he knows, too.

– «Do you use old technologies in production?» we ask the winemaker. – «We use old philosophy.» Our host smiles again: «Didn’t you feel it?».

If you want to share your love for Crete with friends or your loved one, just open a bottle with a golden neck-Liastos, stored up from a trip to the Lyrarakis winery. This is «concentrated sun», according to Georgios. That’s all!

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